Article by Samantha Manton // Feb. 29, 2012
At the beginning of this year I was lucky enough to be introduced to the HomeBase project; a unique, international Artist-in-Residence and research program based in Pankow. Their Private Networking Salon in January provided a fantastic opportunity to preview the multi-disciplinary work of the sixteen artists, of nine different nationalities, currently living in Berlin’s HomeBase LAB.
To visit the transformed historic brewery was a wholly interactive experience. On meandering from room to room (each a living space and studio) and speaking to the residents it became evident how powerful a role communal living and the sharing of ‘home’ has in stimulating creativity and inspiring the artists’ individual site-specific projects. This is exactly what HomeBase founder Anat Litwin, an Israeli/American artist and curator, had envisaged six years ago.
Initiated in 2006 in Brooklyn, NYC, the HomeBase project explores the notion of ‘home as a central window into questions of identity and belonging’. Litwin was interested in moulding a nomadic and urban social sculpture in which contemporary art and creative collaboration could be cultivated. Six years on, and the HomeBase project will soon be ready to move on from Berlin to its seventh location; Jerusalem.
Fortunately before this migration, we are invited to see the result of this year’s projects at a three-day multi-disciplinary event from March 3 to March 5; The HomeBase BUILD festival. The event promises to be one-of-a-kind, with a rich interactive programme of installations, performances, music, lectures, readings, as well as a symposium discussing the meeting of contemporary art and social innovation. Plus, sampling some of the HomeBase’s-own Ignatz Bier, which celebrates the building’s vibrant history as the Engelhardt brewery, is also on the cards. I, for one, cannot wait for my second visit.